I have been reviewing the information provided in the HCPSS Superintendent Area Adjustment Plan and thought I would share some of my early findings and questions in this document. I am going to detail some the items noted in the Executive Summary (capacity and equity) of the proposed plan and some other items on my “to look at” list.
Number of students moving:
According to the document there are 1,351 middle school students that will be reassigned in this plan. According to the 2019 Feasibility Study the estimated total number of students in middle school (for 2020-2021) is expected to be 14,015. So just over 9.6% of all middle school students would be reassigned in this plan (almost 1 in every 10 students).
Capacity / Overcrowding:
Let’s first start with this chart
If we do nothing (per the chart – BASE) we will have 5 schools over 110% capacity and 6 additional schools at or over 100% capacity. This plan continues to have 5 schools over 110% capacity and 10 schools at or over 100% capacity.
Hammond MS falls below 110% (from 116% to 108%) and Bonnie Branch goes above 110% (from 99% to 111%). My kid went to Bonnie Branch Middle (back in the day)…so that one is of interest to me a little.
This on paper looks like a pretty even distribution of students throughout the county and some of the highest schools drop in capacity a little bit (except for Murray Hill MS – stays at 121%).
Equity by addressing the distribution of students participating in the Free and Reduced price meals program (FARMs) across schools to the extent feasible.
This issue has been discussed a lot recently…especially after the council press release and the Council Resolution that was submitted. How did the schools do with this objective in the plan for middle schools…let’s start with the chart:
The Base numbers (or if we do nothing plan) say:
- 8 schools have more than 33% of students receiving FARMs (also 1 school at 32%)
- 5 schools have less than 10% of students receiving FARMs
The Proposed numbers (in this plan) say:
- 8 schools have more than 33% of students receiving FARMs (also 2 schools at 30%)
- 4 schools have less than 10% of students receiving FARMs
Here are some items of significance in the plan:
- Harpers Choice MS drops form 52% to 34%
- Lake Elkhorn MS drops from 53% to 41%
- Hammond MS jumps up from 19% to 30%
- Clarksville MS jumps up from <5% to 13%
- Elkridge Landing MS jumps up from 21% to 27%
- All of the other numbers vary by less than 5% at any one school
This was without question going to be the most difficult part of the plan to deal with for the school system. The development patterns and policies have helped lead to the concentration of low income families in certain areas of this county and it is very difficult for the school system to redistrict their way out of that concentration. That being said…when you look at the data…not sure you can say this issue has been fully addressed yet. I was happy to see the two schools with more than 50% of students receiving FARMs significantly addressed in this plan.
Looking at the map nothing specific stands out (nothing like Atholton HS in the high school plan). Obviously most middle schools get changed from a little to a bunch (the most being Clarksville MS sending more than 200 students to Harpers Choice MS).
The middle schools do not appear to have as significant a change as do the high schools…but maybe that is just how I am looking at the data right now.
Know that I have much more data to review and some of that may change some of my opinions and comments above…but these are some of the notable things I have found up to this point. Coming soon – a breakout of the elementary school data.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments.